Frank Benyon

Frank BenyonEx-Director European Legal Service's Business Law Team, Professor, Publisher

Following law studies at Bristol University and at the College of Europe, he practiced as a solicitor with Allen & Overy in London before becoming a partner with Clifford-Chance, working successively in their Brussels, Dubai and Paris office, dealing, in particular, with company, commercial and banking matters. He joined the Legal Service of the European Commission in 1980, advising on and drafting legislation, as well as preparing and negotiating treaties with third countries. He also appeared for the Commission in a great number of cases before the European Court of Justice in a variety of areas of EU law. From 2000 to 2010 he was Director in charge of the Legal Service’s Business Law Team, dealing with the Capital, Establishment and Services freedoms, in particular in the banking, telecommunications and transport sectors.

After retiring from the Commission in 2010, he was made Senior Fellow in the Law Department of the European University Institute in Florence and the seminars he held there led to two publications, ‘Direct Investment, National Champions and EU Treaty Freedoms’, (Oxford, Hart 2010) and ‘Services and the EU Citizen (Hart 2013). He has given university courses and lectures in Italy, Belgium, the UK and elsewhere and contributes to various publications, most recently the work edited by Bobek & Prassl entitled Air Passenger Rights Ten Years On (Hart January 2016) and a Wiley Compendium of EU law.

Howard Baskin

Howard BaskinBig Cat Rescue Foundation

Howard Baskin is a former management consultant who spent 11 years at Citicorp and was an equity participant and general manager in three companies. He met Big Cat Rescue Founder Carole Baskin in 2002 and gave up his consulting practice to devote full time to Big Cat Rescue focusing on finance, marketing, administration, real estate issues and advocacy to stop big cat abuse. Howard received his B.S. cum laude from Union College, Schenectady, NY in 1972, his J.D. cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law in 1978 and his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1980.

Robert Blake

Robert BlakeState Department Leader

Ambassador Blake served for 31 years in the State Department in a wide range of leadership positions. In 2009, he was nominated by President Obama to be Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, serving from 2009-2013, for which he was awarded the State Department’s Distinguished Service Award.

From 2006-2009, he served concurrently as US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Prior to that, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission in India from 2003-2006, where he was named the worldwide DCM of the Year by the State Department.

Most recently, from 2013-2016, he was the US Ambassador to Indonesia, where he focused on building stronger business and educational ties between the US and Indonesia, while also developing cooperation to help Indonesia reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Ambassador Blake has held a wide variety of key State Department positions as well, including Executive Assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs from 2001-2003, Deputy Executive Secretary for the Department of State from 2000-2001, and Senior Desk Officer responsible for economic and political relations with Turkey from 1998-2000. He has also served in Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, and Nigeria.

He is currently Chairman of the Board of the US-Indonesia Society, and he is a member of the board of the Asia Foundation and the Bhutan Foundation.

Ambassador Blake holds a BA from Harvard College, and an MA from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC.

Richard Briffault

Richard BriffaultColumbia Law School — Professor of Legislation

Richard Briffault is the Joseph P. Chamberlain Professor of Legislation at Columbia Law School. His research, writing and teaching focus on state and local government law, the law of the political process, government ethics and property.

Since 2014 he has been the Chair of the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board. He was a member of New York’s Moreland Act Commission to Investigate Public Corruption (2013-14). He served as a member of or consultant to several New York City and State commissions dealing with state and local governance including the New York State Commission on Local Government Efficiency & Competitiveness (2007-08), the Temporary New York Commission on Constitutional Revision (1993-95), the New York City Real Property Tax Reform Commission (1993), and the New York City Charter Revision Commission (1987-89). He is currently the Reporter for the American Law Institute=s project on Principles of Government Ethics. He is co-author of the textbook State and Local Government Law (8th ed. 2016); principal author of Dollars and Democracy: A Blueprint for Campaign Finance Reform (Report of the Commission on Campaign Finance Reform of New York City Bar Association); and author of Balancing Acts: The Reality Behind State Balanced Budget Requirements as well as more than seventy-five law review articles. He is also vice-chair of Citizens Union of the City of New York.

Professor Briffault joined the Columbia faculty in 1983. He received his B.A. summa cum laude from Columbia University and his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard University. He was law clerk to the Honorable Shirley M. Hufstedler of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and was Assistant Counsel to New York Governor Hugh L. Carey.

Adriaan Buma

Adriaan Buma Rear Admiral (lh) (ret.)

Adriaan Hopperus Buma is a public health physician who served in the Netherlands Navy for 38 years in various Fleet, Marine Corps and Joint Command and Staff functions. Among others he served as Medical Plans Officer at NATO HQ in Northwood (UK), Dep. AFOR Medical Advisor (Albania) and Senior Medical Officer on St. Martin after Hurricane Luis. As Senior Fleet Surgeon he was in charge of the national medical planning for UN missions to Eritrea (UNMEE) and Liberia (UNMIL). He was Commanding Officer of the joint deployable surgical teams which brought him to Iraq and Afghanistan. His final position was Inspector-General Military Health Care.

Admiral Buma is a graduate of Utrecht University and received his public health training in Leiden.

His Ph.D.-studies during the UNTAC-mission (Cambodia) comprised studies on health surveillance, malaria and hepatitis. He is a founding examiner of the Diploma in Conflict & Catastrophe Medicine for the Society of Apothecaries of London, preparing military and civilian doctors for disaster and humanitarian relief operations. He is editor of the textbook on Conflict & Catastrophe Medicine. He is the recipient of the 25th Michael E. DeBakey International Military Surgeons Award (USUHS, Bethesda MD) and has been knighted to Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau. He has fellowships of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow (UK) and the New Westminster College, Vancouver B.C.

Since his retirement from the Navy (2012) he works as senior consultant in the Harbour Hospital Rotterdam (Dept. Tropical & Travel Medicine) and lectures at the Netherlands.

Michael Burch

Michael BurchProfessor of Political Science

Ambassador Blake has held a wide variety of key State Department positions as well, including Executive Assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs from 2001-2003, Deputy Executive Secretary for the Department of State from 2000-2001, and Senior Desk Officer responsible for economic and political relations with Turkey from 1998-2000. He has also served in Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, and Nigeria.

Prudence Bushnell

Prudence BushnellAuthor, Ambassador, Deputy Assistant Secretary

He is currently Chairman of the Board of the US-Indonesia Society, and he is a member of the board of the Asia Foundation and the Bhutan Foundation.

Marie Christine Cimadevilla

Marie Christine Cimadevilla

Ambassador Blake holds a BA from Harvard College, and an MA from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC."

William Dowell

William DowellForeign Correspondent, Publisher

Matthew joined the Four Seasons to oversee their Steakhouse “140” in Hawaii. He relocated to Denver to be the Executive Sous Chef of the Denver Marriott City Center, where he launched the Greatroom concept of “Prospect’s Urban Kitchen and Bar” to rave reviews.

Clint Elbow

Clint ElbowUnited Nations Association — Tampa Bay Charter Pres.

Since joining The Vinoy team in May of 2017, Matthew has been instrumental in driving results in Culinary and played a critical role in the opening of Paul’s Landing.

Jamison Firestone

Jamison FirestoneAttorney, Human Right/Anti-Corruption

When not in the kitchen, Matthew enjoys traveling with his wife Lena and exploring the outdoors.

Chas Freeman

Chas  FreemanDiplomat, Writer, Educator

Chas Freeman is an eminent diplomat, writer, and educator. He was a career United States diplomat, rising to the highest levels of the foreign policy establishment. Both as ambassador to Saudi Arabia and in high level positions in China, he became a point person for dealing with Middle East and China issues.

He was Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs from 1993-94, earning the highest public service awards of the Department of Defense for his roles in designing a NATO-centered post-Cold War European security system and in reestablishing defense and military relations with China. He served as U. S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm). He was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs during the historic U.S. mediation of Namibian independence from South Africa and Cuban troop withdrawal from Angola. His works on both areas of the world challenge conventional wisdom and policy. . He was the principal American interpreter during the late President Nixon’s path-breaking visit to China in 1972.

Ambassador Freeman is a graduate of Yale and Harvard Law School.

J.Michael Francis

J.Michael FrancisProfessor, Author, Editor

Dr. J. Michael Francis received his PhD in History in 1998 from the University of Cambridge. Between 1997 and 2012, he taught at the University of North Florida. In 2012, Dr. Francis was named the Hough Family Chair of Florida Studies at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, and in 2016 he was appointed Chair of the Department of History and Politics at USFSP.

Dr. Francis has received more than two dozen national and international awards, including a four-year appointment as Research Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and the Jay I. Kislak Fellowship at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. He has written and edited five books, and he has published numerous book chapters and articles. His most recent book is entitled St. Augustine: America’s First City. Dr. Francis serves as the Executive Director of an ambitious new project called La Florida: The Interactive Digital Archive of the Americas, and in 2018 Governor Rick Scott appointed Dr. Francis to serve on the Florida Historical Commission.

Andrew Hano

Andrew HanoHematologist/Medical Oncologist

Dr. Hano is a hematologist/medical oncologist having practiced in Pinellas County, Florida for 32 years and retiring in 2015. He has served as an associate medical director with Hospice of the Florida Suncoast for 10 years and was on the board of the American Cancer Society, Pinellas chapter. He served on the staff of several local hospitals, including being Chief of Medicine and Chief of Staff at Largo Medical Center Hospital. He belongs to the Pinellas County Osteopathic Medical Society, Florida Osteopathic Medical Association, American Osteopathic Association, American College of Osteopathic Internists, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and, more recently, the American Association of Cannabis Medicine.

Dr. Hano has witnessed the relief cannabis has provided for patients in legally prescribed forms, dating back to his fellowship in Detroit in the early ‘80s, when cannabis cigarettes were being used for a brief period of time for chemotherapy induced nausea. He has long felt that cannabis has valid medical uses, with numerous medical papers done over the years confirming this. The side effect profile is superior to numerous currently prescribed medications, especially the opioids/narcotics.

His wife is included in this group, as she is a cancer patient on continued chemotherapy.

Susan Harper

Susan HarperConsul General of Canada in Miami

Prior to moving to Miami, Ms. Harper held two consecutive positions in Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa: Director General and Senior Arctic Official (2013-16) and Director General, Trade and Technical Barriers (2009-13). In 2004, she had been posted to the Embassy of Canada in Washington, DC, where she became Minister (Economic) in 2008. She had previously been Ambassador in Montevideo, Uruguay (2001-04), after having held trade positions in Yaounde’, Paris and Buenos Aires. Before joining the Government of Canada, Ms. Harper taught at both Cambrian College in Sudbury, and George Brown College in Toronto.

Susan has two children, who keep her academic, financial management and diplomatic skills honed.

Judy Heimann

Judy  HeimannForeign Service Officer, Writer

Judith M. Heimann is a retired Senior Foreign Service Officer and a non-fiction writer. One of the first Foreign Service spouses to become a diplomat in her own right, Judy spent most of her adult life abroad — chiefly in Western Europe but also in Southeast Asia (the location of most of her books) and Central Africa. She has had a long and varied career. Judy followed closely and reported on the development of the political aspects of the European Union, starting in the early 1980s until 2011 – her last assignment to an EU presidency country. In the course of assignments to cover the internal politics in, respectively, Belgium, France and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, she helped promote efforts to eliminate the trafficking of conflict diamonds, helped find and document the reasons for the rapid growth of the Airbus Industry and kept Washington informed of the (failed) efforts of the Mobutu regime’s peaceful dissidents to obtain the democratic structures they sought. Her 2016 book, Paying Calls in Shangri-La: Scenes from A Woman’s Life in American Diplomacy (Ohio University Press), was nominated for the Academy of Diplomacy’s Douglas Dillon award for the best book of 2016-2017 on the art of diplomacy. She is currently working on a book of her personal memories of working-level American diplomacy abroad, primarily in the pre-internet era. She speaks French, Dutch and Indonesian/Malay.

Vicki Huddleston

Vicki HuddlestonU.S. Diplomat, Author

Vicki J. Huddleston is a distinguished retired U.S. diplomat and expert on U.S.-Cuban relations and African Affairs. Most recently, she is the author of Our Woman in Havana: A Diplomat’s Chronicle of America’s Long Struggle with Castro’s Cuba, which focus on her three years as head of the US diplomatic mission in Havana.

Ambassador Huddleston is a former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa. She was U.S. Ambassador to Mail, to the Republic of Madagascar, and acting ambassador in Ethiopia. She was the Principal Officer of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, and earlier Director and Deputy Director of Cuban Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, as well as Deputy Chief of Mission in Haiti. She has received U.S. Department of State awards, including a Distinguished Honor Award and a Presidential Meritorious Service Award.

Ambassador Huddleston lead a USAID development project in Haiti for Research Triangle International from 2013 to 2015. Earlier she was the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In 2008, she was a member of the Obama-Biden Transition Team for the U.S. Department of State. She was a Visiting Scholar at Brookings Institution and a co-director of the Brookings Project on U.S. Policy Toward a Cuba in Transition that resulted in a book which she co-authored, Learning to Salsa: New Steps in US Cuban Relations. She was a Fellow at the Institute of Politics of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow on the staff of former Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM). She began her overseas career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru. She also worked for the American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD) in Peru and Brazil.

Huddleston earned a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins School Advanced International Studies and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado. She has authored numerous opinion pieces on Cuba, Mali, and Ethiopia that were published in The New York Times, The Miami Herald, The Los Angeles Times, The Globe and Mali, and the Washington Post.

Dennis Jett

Dennis JettDiplomat, International Affairs Professor

Dennis Jett is a founding faculty member and professor of international affairs of the School of International Affairs at Pennsylvania State University. A former career diplomat, he served 28 years in the State Department in a wide range of positions including as Ambassador to Peru, Ambassador to Mozambique, on the National Security Council, as Deputy Chief of Mission in Malawi and Liberia, and in Argentina and Israel.

From 2000 to 2008, he was Dean of the International Center, Director of the Transnational and Global Studies Center and on the faculty of the Political Science Department at the University of Florida. He has a Ph.D. in international relations from the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. The author of two books, “Why Peacekeeping Fails” and “Why American Foreign Policy Fails”, he has been interviewed on the Jim Lehrer News Hour, CNN, NPR, BBC and other national and international news programs. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Diplomacy, he was written over 120 opinion pieces for major newspapers, the more recent of which can be found on his blog on the Huffington Post.

Atheena Johnson

Atheena JohnsonDoctoral Student in Linguistics

Doctoral student in Linguistics, Atheena Johnson is currently conducting research on the use of new technologies in the language acquisition of second/foreign languages. She is currently based in Paris, France and is both fascinated and concerned by the ample possibilities to incorporate these technologies into teaching English as a second language with a driving question originating from the case of content verses form.

With many multinational companies regularly communicating with one another electronically, she believes that assessing the use of technology in language teaching in an inevitable step to insuring a relevant curriculum. Outside of her research, she specialises in international business communications and standardized test preparation.

William Jordan

William JordanU.S. Foreign Service Political Officer

William Jordan served for 30 years (1981-2011) as a political officer in the U.S. Foreign Service specializing in the Arab world and France. His overseas assignments included Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; Tunis, Tunisia; Damascus, Syria; Amman, Jordan; Paris, France; and Algiers, Algeria, where he served in his final posting was as Deputy Chief of Mission. His responsibilities in the Arab world included reporting and analyzing foreign policy trends, especially as they related to the United States, as well as internal politics, human rights conditions, and the rise of radical Islamist forces. From 1997-2001, Mr. Jordan was the reporting officer in Paris for labor issues and internal politics. He returned to Paris in 2007-2009 to work on the Near East and North Africa as well as Russia (including during and after the 2008 Georgia crisis).

Since retiring in Paris, Mr. Jordan has become an independent analyst, with frequent appearances on France 24, BBC radio, Radio France International, and CNN International. He has also lectured on foreign affairs at the French Ecole militaire and at the Paris campus of New York University.

Mr. Jordan’s foreign languages include Arabic and French.

Levan Jugeli

Levan JugeliMedical Doctor and Health Specialist

Levan Jugeli is a medical doctor with significant experience and thorough knowledge of the public health, health care systems, including pharmaceuticals. He has worked on several assignments in the field of health care. He has over 15 years of experience working with international donor-funded projects.

His most recent post was National Consultant of the reproductive cancer screening project funded by UNFPA and Georgian government, he managed to launch and implement Breast and cervical cancer screening project throughout the country. Prior to this assignment he served as the Deputy Minister of Health and Social Affairs of Georgia. He played a leading role in national health policy development and health care reform implementation. He supervised the Health and Social Projects Implementation Centre, executing the World Bank supported health care reform projects and acted as the primary recipient of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and Primary Health Care Reform. In his spare time, he gives guest lectures on International health systems. Levan is also partner of Georgia/USA company Turmanidze Cosmetics which produces herbal creams, ointments and compounds.

Levan Jugeli earned his medical degree at Tbilisi State Medical University and at Tartu State University in Estonia. He also holds an MSc degree from the London School of Economics (LSE) in International Health Policy.

Gregory W. Kehoe

Gregory W. KehoeDepartment of Justice Assistant Attorney

With almost 40 years of trial experience, Gregory W. Kehoe has a national and international practice focusing on the representation of individuals, corporations and financial institutions in federal and state courts, and international tribunals. Mr. Kehoe worked for the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Defense for over 20 years with postings in the United States, Europe, Asia and South America

While serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney with the Department of Justice, he successfully prosecuted a number of high profile cases involving financial institutions charged with corporate fraud and racketeering. He also served as a prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Mr. Kehoe led the team of lawyers and investigators which advised the Iraqi Special Tribunal, an ad hoc court formed to prosecute Saddam Hussein and members of his former regime. Mr. Kehoe represented General Ante Gotovina in his complete acquittal before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and represented General Mohammed Hussein Ali before the International Criminal Court, which also led to a full dismissal.

Judy Kreith

Judy KreithDance Educator and Choreographer

Judy Kreith is a professional dance educator and choreographer. She received her MA Degree from Stanford University. Her mother, Marion Finkels Kreith, is the key inspiration for the documentary film, Cuba’s Forgotten Jewels: a haven in Havana. Judy has extensively studied Cuban dance and while in Cuba, began research into the Jewish refugees’ diamond polishing industry that flourished in Havana during the Second World War, working on-site with Cuban historians. Judy contributes her research and knowledge, along with her personal connection and passion for this project and its potential impact. She has spoken on this topic to many groups, including a conference at the University of Antwerp, Belgium.

Paul Kubicek

Paul KubicekProfessor of Political Science

Paul Kubicek is Professor of Political Science and Director of the International Studies Program at Oakland University in Rochester Michigan. He received his PhD from the University of Michigan in 1995. He has also taught in Turkey, Ukraine, and Austria, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Slovenia in 2007. Much of his research is on democratization, the European Union, Turkish politics and foreign policy, and post-communist Eastern Europe and Central Asia. He has published in journals such as Comparative Politics, Political Science Quarterly, Political Studies, and Democratization. His two most recent books are Political Islam and Democratization in the Muslim World (2015) and (co-editor) Democratic Consolidation in Turkey: Micro and Macro Challenges (2016). He also serves as a contributor to Freedom House’s annual Freedom in the World report and is the editor of Turkish Studies.

Katrina Kubicek

Katrina KubicekChildren's Hospital Associate Director, Medical Anthropologist

Katrina Kubicek is a medical anthropologist and is currently the Associate Director of the Community, Health Outcomes, and Intervention Research (CHOIR) Program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She also co-directs the Community Engagement program of the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute (SC CTSI) at the University of Southern California. She received her doctorate in Health Behavior Research from the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.

Her training as a medical anthropologist provides a unique lens in which to view research and take into account the many cultural and social influences on individuals’ health and well-being, integral to unpacking issues impacting health disparities locally and globally. Her work has included serving as the Ethnographer on a number of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded studies over the past ten years which involved working closely with diverse communities such as young gay and bisexual men in examining HIV risks in urban populations, the House and Ball communities of Los Angeles and promotoras de salud in providing evidence-based guidelines to support cardiovascular health in urban and rural Latino communities. Her particular research focus includes understanding the dynamics of intimate partner violence among young gay and bisexual men as well as examining the societal and structural barriers to HIV prevention and care for young men of color in urban settings.

She has had the opportunity to work side by side with some of the most diverse communities in the world and these experiences continue to inform her work as well as the research of colleagues and other faculty at USC and CHLA. Without these relationships, her research agenda would not be as vast and applicable to the many different health conditions affecting our diverse communities.

Linda Lucas

Linda LucasProfessor of Economics and Women's Studies

Linda E. Lucas received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Hawaii and taught economics and women’s studies in multiple universities around the world including Thammasat in Bangkok, Instituto Autonimo de Mexico (Mexico City), Makerere University (Kampala, Uganda), Eckerd College, University of South Florida and University of Notre Dame. She has published extensively in her fields including Unpacking Globalization: Markets, Gender and Work (Rowman and Littlefield, 2007. Linda has served as a Fulbright Professor of Economics in Mexico and Uganda; a Fellow at the East West Center in Honolulu; a Visiting Scholar at Thailand Development Research Institute. She is Professor Emerita of Economics at Eckerd College and Retired Assistant Dean of Special Projects in the Honors College at the University of South Florida (Tampa). She is a founding member of the International Association for Feminist Economics.

Eric Lynn

Eric LynnSenior Advisor — Secretary of Defense, Policy Office Special Advisor on the Middle East — Secretary of Defense

Eric Lynn served as a Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Defense and as Special Advisor on the Middle East in the Policy Office of the Secretary of Defense. He advised three U.S. Secretaries of Defense (Robert Gates, Leon Panetta and Chuck Hagel) at the Pentagon, as well as the Undersecretaries for Policy, focusing on National Security and a range of Middle East issues.

In multiple roles, Eric worked personally for the Secretary of Defense and served as Senior Policy Advisor to General John Allen. While working in the Pentagon, Eric traveled overseas over 50 times with Secretaries of Defense and others for engagements with the heads of state and military leadership. Notably, Eric served as the Secretary’s lead on the Iron Dome counter rocket system since its inception in 2009. He was the Secretary of Defense's representative to the State Department's Israeli-Palestinian

negotiations team.

A St. Petersburg, Florida native, Eric has worked extensively in National Security policy and U.S. politics. Eric served as Middle East Policy Advisor to President Barack Obama in 2007- 2008. He advised President Obama on national security, Middle East policy and coordinated outreach to the Jewish community nationwide.

Previously, Eric practiced law as an attorney in Florida and Washington DC, working on public policy, litigation, and regulatory work. He served on senior policy staff in Congress, as a top advisor on foreign policy and defense. Eric led international Congressional delegations and advised Members of Congress on a range of legislative issues within the Energy and Commerce Committee.

Since leaving the Department of Defense, Eric runs a strategic consulting business, serving clients with such diverse needs as national security strategy, international dynamics, and business strategy. This includes work with current and former Military Leadership and high ranking international officials.

Eric studied International Relations, History and Business at Northwestern University, studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and holds a law degree from Georgetown University. He and his wife, Tracy, have two young children.

Bruce Mabley

Bruce MableyCanadian Diplomat and Professor

Bruce Mabley is a retired Canadian diplomat having served abroad in Paris, Islamabad, Cairo, Amman and Ankara. Dr. Mabley has also taught Philosophy and Political Science at Laval, McGill, Carleton and Concordia universities. He holds a Doctorat in Philosophy (thesis: La pensée politique d’Albert Camus) from Université Laval in Québec City. In 2003, he was accepted in the Faculty of Law to perform post-doctoral work in Islamic Law and Politics until 2006.

During a hiatus in his diplomatic career from 1991-2006, Dr. Mabley was first appointed as Director of International Affairs at Concordia University. He then launched a private sector educational consulting and services company called ‘EDUC-INTER’ and secured World Bank funding for offices in Mexico City and Panama. His company organized internships abroad for Canadian students under the auspices of Foreign Affairs Canada. EDUC-INTER was also responsible for implementing the National Graduate Registry in Central American universities. This project was designed to streamline human resources practices, stimulate youth employment and increase competitiveness.

In early 2000, Dr. Mabley was decorated by the French government with the Chevalier des Palmes académiques for his academic cooperation work in bringing together French, Quebec and Canadian universities.

Since his retirement from the Foreign Service in October 2015, Dr. Mabley has written extensively for newspapers, web sites, think tanks and magazines on international affairs topics such as the Syrian conflict, Turkish politics and foreign policy, Canadian foreign service reform, NAFTA Renegotiation, Canadian foreign policy and a variety of other international issues.

Ed Marks

Ed MarksSenior Foreign Service Officer

Since retiring as a Senior Foreign Service Officer (Minister-Counselor) in 1995, Ambassador Marks has engaged in consulting, lecturing, and writing, primarily on terrorism, interagency coordination, United Nations affairs, and complex international emergencies. Ambassador Marks was recalled to active duty in 2002-5 to serve as the Department of State’s advisor on terrorism to the United States Pacific Command.

He is a Member of the Board of Directors, “American Diplomacy.” A member of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) since 1959, Ambassador Marks most recently served as a Retiree Representative on the Governing Board (2011-15) and Governing Board Liaison to the Award Committee. He has also served as elected Member of the Governing Council and Chairman of the FSJ Editorial Board, and Member of the Board of Governors of DACOR (Diplomatic and Consular Officers, Retired).

Past activities include Distinguished Senior Fellow. George Mason University Program on Peacekeeping Policy, and a Senior Mentor at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia. Between August 2012 and November 2014, Ambassador Marks was a Director and then Washington Representative of The Simons Center for Interagency Cooperation, a program of the Command and General Staff College Foundation of Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. He was a Founding Trustee of the CGSC Foundation.

Ambassador Marks was appointed to the Foreign Service in 1956 with early assignments mainly in Africa. Senior positions included Ambassador to the Republics of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde, the Department of State’s Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Visiting Senior Fellow on terrorism at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Deputy Chief of Mission in Sri Lanka, Deputy United States Representative to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations in New York, and Senior Fellow at the National Defense University.

Born in Chicago, Illinois in April 1934, Ambassador Marks attended public schools in Detroit, Michigan and graduated from the Universities of Michigan (BA, 1956) and Oklahoma (MA Economics, 1976), the National War College (1981) and served in the United States Army (1956-58). He has written extensively, and co-authored the books “US Government Counterterrorism Programs: Who Does What” and “US Government Counterterrrorism Programs: Nixon to Trump”.

Douglas McElhaney

Douglas McElhaneySt. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs Instigator

Doug is the instigator of the St Pete Conference on World Affairs, having participated in a similar event last year in Boulder, Colorado. When he moved to St. Petersburg in 2007 to take care of aging parents, he noted that international issues did not get the time and attention in the lives of busy Floridians that they warranted. The presidential elections only reinforced his conviction that an international conference in St. Pete that talked about issues, and unfettered by political rhetoric, would be a true contribution to the community. Doug was a career Foreign Service Officer at the US State Department and retired with the rank of Ambassador after a 34-year career. He served in Europe: Brussels, Rome, Milan, Paris, Lisbon, Sarajevo, and for three years in Cairo. He was the US Deputy Permanent Representative during both the Bosnia and Kosovo wars, and he worked for several years in the late seventies on the negotiations that later resulted in the independence of Namibia. At the Embassy in Cairo, he worked on the peace process as well as liaison with the Egyptian military. As Ambassador to Bosnia, he renegotiated wide changes to the wartime constitution, which in 2006 were ultimately rejected by the ethnically-based parties in power in 2006. He was the Distinguished Ambassador in Residence at the University of Miami from 2008-2012. Ambassador McElhaney is a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy.

Donald Morrison

Donald MorrisonAuthor, Journalist, and Educator

In a long career at TIME magazine, he served as editor of its World section in New York, its Asian edition in Hong Kong and its European edition in London. He has taught at New York University’s London Center, Tsinghua University in Beijing and the Institut d’etudes politiques (Sciences Po) in Paris.

Mr. Morrison is the author, co-author or editor of books on subjects as diverse as Chinese democracy, the Obama presidency and photojournalism. His “The Death of French Culture,” a 2009 French best-seller, was published in the U.S. and the U.K. in 2010. He is currently Europe Editor of the London-based magazine PORT, as well as a columnist and advisory board member at The Berkshire Eagle. His weekly podcast commentary is featured on NPR’s Robin Hood Radio, and other news outlets. He has written for The New York Times, The Financial Times, Le Monde, Le Point, The New Republic, Smithsonian and Quartz. Mr. Morrison holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the London School of Economics. He is married to Ann Morrison, former Executive Editor of Fortune magazine and Editor of Asiaweek.

Nabintu Mujambere

Nabintu MujambereFuture Hope Africa Founder, Educator

Nabintu Mujambere is a Congolese educator based in Bukavu, Democratic Rep. of Congo (DRC). After completing her university education in Belgium, she returned to Bukavu in 2008 to establish a non-profit education center in Bukavu to serve children, youth and families. In 2012, her work spawned a new faith-based US nonprofit organization, Future Hope Africa, Inc. The Kanega Education Centre provides programs for after-school tutoring, language studies, music and art programs, and youth leadership clubs. The center focuses on children from families that cannot afford public schooling. Ms. Mujambere and her staff also introduced youth environmental programs – coordinated with local schools, and adult entrepreneurial training to Bukavu. She has instituted a nascent micro-loan program to help those who graduate the entrepreneurial training course.

Her life experience of fleeing the late-1990’s DRC civil war violence and her subsequent schooling in Nairobi, Kenya, followed by university in Belgium gave her a vision to return to the DRC to provide fundamental education through a caring, committed staff of teachers to needy families. Her August 2018 outreach to soldiers’ families in a nearby military camp was unprecedented, and is being followed up in the center’s youth leadership clubs.

Nabintu is fluent in Mashi, Lingala, Swahili, French and English.

Elizabeth Scott Osborne

Elizabeth Scott OsborneLawyer, Writer, Teacher, and International Development Professional

Scott is a lawyer, writer, teacher, and international development professional. She has worked with non-profits for over three decades, living in seven countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe, and traveling to 35 more. She is especially interested in issues around gender equity and education. Scott created and produced a play, SPOILED, about violence and masculinity in India and the US; designs curricula for an educational venture; and is currently working on a book about the lives of a group of girls and nuns in a shelter home in India. She serves on the board of the US National Committee for UN Women, is President of the Gulf Coast Chapter of UN Women, and is on the Grants Selection Committee for Dining for Women.

Scott is a native New Yorker and an adopted Floridian who has lived in Sarasota for most of the past 18 years. She holds a BA (Summa Cum Laude) from the University of Pennsylvania, an MPA in International Development from Princeton, and a JD from the New York University School of Law; and has teaching certifications in Montessori (Elementary I / II) and English as an Additional Language (Cambridge/ CELTA). She was a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa.

Nolan Peterson

Nolan PetersonFormer U.S. Air Force Special Operations Pilot

A former U.S. Air Force special operations pilot and a veteran of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Nolan Peterson is a conflict journalist and travel writer whose adventures have taken him to all seven continents.

Peterson is the foreign correspondent for The Daily Signal, the news site of the Heritage Foundation. His work has also been published by many other news outlets, including CNN, Newsweek, the BBC, Fox News, the National Interest, Runner’s World, Newsmax, UPI, the Epoch Times, the Daily Caller, and the literary journal “War, Literature and the Arts.”

As a war correspondent, Peterson has reported extensively from the front lines in eastern Ukraine, Afghanistan, and Iraq. In the summer of 2015 he was the first American journalist to embed with Ukraine’s regular army in combat. In October 2015 he retraced the path of Tibetan refugees on a solo hike across the Himalayas from Nepal to China. He also spent several months on assignment in the Himalayas reporting on Tibetan freedom fighters.

A Florida native, Peterson graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in French. He attended graduate school at the Sorbonne in Paris, France from 2004 from 2006, where he studied politics and French literature. After leaving the Air Force in 2011, Peterson completed a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, where he was a McCormick Foundation fellow.

Peterson’s unique life experiences are the bedrock of his unique writing and journalism style. In addition to his time in the military and work as a journalist, he has run a marathon across a glacier in Antarctica, swum across the Hellespont from Europe to Asia, climbed mountains in the Himalayas, and completed Ironman triathlons. He travelled to all seven continents before age 30.

In 2018, Peterson published his debut short fiction collection, “Snow-Blind: And Other Stories.” He lives in Kyiv, Ukraine, with his wife Lilya.

Ellen Prager

Ellen PragerMarine Scientist and Author

Dr. Prager is a marine scientist and author, widely recognized for her expertise and ability to make science entertaining and understandable for people of all ages. She currently works as a freelance writer, consultant, and science advisor to Celebrity Cruises in the Galapagos Islands. She was previously the Chief Scientist for the Aquarius Reef Base program in Key Largo, FL, which includes the world’s only undersea research station, and at one time the Assistant Dean at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. Dr. Prager has built a national reputation as a scientist and spokesperson on earth and ocean science issues and is a sought after speaker for public-oriented events. She has appeared on several shows such as: The Today Show and NBC News, Fox News, CNN, the Discovery Channel and was a consultant for the Disney movie, Moana.

Dr. Prager has participated in research expeditions to places such as the Galapagos Islands, Papua New Guinea, Caribbean, Bahamas, and the deep waters of the Florida Reef tract. She obtained a BA from Wesleyan University, Connecticut, a MS from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, and in 1992, a PhD from Louisiana State University.

Dr. Prager has published several books such as Stingray City, The Shark Whisperer, Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Oceans’ Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter and Chasing Science at Sea: Racing hurricanes, stalking sharks, and living undersea with ocean experts and The Oceans. Dr. Prager has also published a series of children’s books with the National Geographic Society, the first SAND received the 2000 Parents Choice Award, it was followed by Volcano and then Earthquakes.

Allison Quatrini

Allison QuatriniAssistant Professor of Political Science

Allison Quatrini is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations and Global Affairs at Eckerd College. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Her research interests focus on China, specifically its authoritarian state, and the politics of festivals and holidays. She is also interested in interpretive research methodology and the role of field-work in Political Science. Allison's research has been funded by the David I. Boren Fellowship, the Sigur Center for Asian Studies at GWU, and the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at GWU.

Monique Quesada

Monique QuesadaDiplomat in Residence, MIU and MDC

Monique Quesada is the Diplomat in Residence (DIR) based in Miami at Florida International University and Miami Dade College. She covers the Florida educational district that spans from Daytona Beach to Key West, as well as Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. As the DIR, she engages with University and High School students, as well as with professional organizations, to raise awareness about careers and internship opportunities in the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service and Civil Service corps.

Monique Quesada has been a career Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. Department of State since 1988. Previously the U.S. Consul General in Marseille, France, Monique’s past experiences include working as the Cultural Attaché for the U.S. Embassy in London, the Deputy U.S. Senior Civilian Representative for Western Afghanistan in Herat, Afghanistan, and Embassy Spokesperson and Information Officer in Rabat, Morocco.

Since 1988, Monique has split her career between Political Affairs and Public Diplomacy assignments, serving mostly in Western Europe and North Africa. She speaks the following languages with varying degrees of fluency in French, Italian, Spanish, Dari, Arabic, Modern Greek and Portuguese. Monique’s family background personifies American “diversity”. Her father came to the U.S. as a student from the Philippines; her mother emigrated from the Netherlands; and Monique was born in Venezuela. She gained her U.S. citizenship when she was eight years old in Houston, Texas, grew up in Columbus, Ohio but now considers herself a resident of the great State of Florida.

Gilles Raguin

Gilles RaguinMedical Doctor and Health Specialist

Gilles Raguin is a medical doctor, trained in internal medicine and infectious diseases, and a global health specialist with more than 20 years of experience with governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Until recently, he was the director of the health department at EXPERTISE FRANCE, the French international agency for technical assistance (2006-2017) as well as a consultant in the department of infectious diseases at Hospital Saint Antoine in Paris.

He is also committed to humanitarian medicine, having spent nearly 10 years working for Medecins du monde, an international medical NGO, as a volunteer first, then a vice president and finally a director of international operations for 3 years (2002-2005).

Dr Raguin has also worked as an independent consultant for the French Agency for Development (AFD), the World Food Program and the Belgian Red Cross (2005-2007).

Combining a very good knowledge of global health actors and funders with a strong experience in humanitarian aid and technical expertise, Dr Raguin is particularly experienced in the fields of infectious diseases, global health security and humanitarian health in resource limited countries.

Laura Reiley

Laura ReileyRestaurant Critic, Author, Multiple Award Nominee and Paul Hansell Award Winner

Laura Reiley is the Tampa Bay Times' restaurant critic and a former critic for the San Francisco Chronicle and the Baltimore Sun. She is the author of four books in the Moon Handbook series: Florida Gulf Coast; Walt Disney World and Orlando; Tampa and St. Petersburg; and the Paradise Coast. She has cooked professionally and is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy. In 2017 she was a Pulitzer and James Beard finalist and won the Paul Hansell Award for Distinguished Achievement in Florida Journalism.

Sandra Roelofs

Sandra RoelofsTranslator, Public Health Consultant, and Humanitarian

Sandra Elisabeth Roelofs (Netherlands, 1968) was initially educated as a translator at the Brussels State Economics Institute where she majored with honors in French and German Her interest in other cultures as well as her humanitarian drive brought her to Georgia where she initially worked for the International Red Cross and the Dutch Consulate.

She set up her own charity foundation SOCO ( in 1999. When her husband Mikhei; Saakashvilil, a promising Georgian lawyer, got involved in politics she was teaching French at a Business School in Tbilisi and at the same time advised European companies as a business consultant. Her husband got elected President of Georgia in 2004 and served two terms till October 2013.

During her time as First Lady, Mrs. Roelofs was deeply involved in public health: she got a medical nursing degree in Georgia, set up breast and cervical cancer screening in Georgia, chaired ministerial councils on reproductive health and infectious diseases and was appointed goodwill ambassador for the World Health Organization. She was also an advocate for healthy life style and palliative care and continues to assist children with rare diseases and disability.

Sandra and her youngest son Nikoloz reside in Georgia. Her oldest son Eduard works in Philadelphia as a journalist. Sandra presently often travels to her parents in the Netherlands and her husband in Ukraine. She is aspiring to start a PhD at John Hopkins School of Public Health and is awaiting approval of her application.

In Georgia, she works as an international consultant on public health, lectures master students at the University of Georgia and directs her charity foundation SOCO that has a medical mobile team, a study grant program and a project on rehabilitation for the disabled.

Sandra speaks Dutch, English, French, German, Russian and Georgian.

Amy Ronshausen

Amy RonshausenDrug Free America Foundation, Save Our Society From Drugs — Executive Director

Amy Ronshausen is the new Executive Director of both Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. and Save Our Society From Drugs (S.O.S.), national nonprofit organizations that work to defeat drug legalization attempts, promote sound drug policies, and prevent drug use, abuse and addiction.

Mrs. Ronshausen has dedicated most of her adult life to the work of reducing illegal drug use and drug prevention. In her ten years with Drug Free America Foundation and S.O.S, she has assisted in coordinating successful grassroots advocacy campaigns to defeat marijuana legalization efforts, coordinated statewide prevention summits, analyzed and tracked state and federal drug policy legislation, and trained prevention professionals at local and national conferences.

Prior to coming to DFAF, Mrs. Ronshausen spent three years as a program specialist with the Pinellas County Adult Drug Court, working under four judges. While in drug court, Mrs. Ronshausen linked defendants with treatment providers and monitored their progress through the criminal justice system. In 2007, Mrs. Ronshausen was awarded Best Team Practices for her work in Adult Drug Court.

Mrs. Ronshausen started her work in drug prevention with Operation PAR, the largest treatment provider in Pinellas County, where she started off as a call specialist in their access center and then worked as a juvenile certified GAIN assessor. She also worked as a juvenile counselor for PAR’s Adolescent Recovery Intervention Services and the Juvenile Enhancement Treatment Services and is trained in Motivational Enhancement and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Mrs. Ronshausen volunteers as the Executive Director for the Florida Coalition Alliance, representing over 30 community anti-drug coalitions. She is a LiveFree! Key Leader Council member, chairs the Marijuana Task Force as part of the Hillsborough County Anti-Drug Alliance, and serves on the Pinellas County Opioid Task Force. Mrs. Ronshausen serves on the board of Informed Families and represents North America on the World Federation Against Drugs board.

Mrs. Ronshausen received her Bachelors of Arts Degree from University of South Florida.

Lynda Schuster

Lynda SchusterJournalist, Reporter

As a former staff reporter for the Wall Street Journal, Lynda Schuster began her career in 1980 in the paper’s Dallas bureau, covering agriculture in the Southwest. Soon after, she was named the Central America correspondent, reporting on the wars in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala. In 1983, she became the Journal’s Mexico bureau chief.

Following the assassination of her first husband, Los Angeles Times veteran foreign correspondent Dial Torgerson, Schuster was transferred to Beirut. There she covered the Lebanese civil war, traversing the country in often perilous circumstances. (She arrived in the country not long after the car bombing of the U.S. Marines’ barracks.) During that time, Schuster also reported from the Persian Gulf, Israel and Egypt.

Schuster became the Journal’s South America correspondent after her stint in the Middle East. She wrote extensively on the trials of Argentina’s “Dirty War,” the government’s secret arrest, torture and murder of thousands of its own citizens. (And appeared on ABC’s “Nightline” as the sole guest to discuss the topic.) The Latin American debt crisis and Brazil’s transition to democracy from a military government were also part of her beat.

Schuster left the Journal in the late 1980s to follow her current husband, Dennis Jett, to his diplomatic posting in Malawi. Not long after arriving there, the Christian Science Monitor offered her a job as its South Africa bureau chief. In that capacity, Schuster covered the final throes of the apartheid regime—often trailed by the government’s security police. She also wrote about the wars in Mozambique and Angola.

She had to cease working in daily journalism to accompany her husband to his ambassadorial postings in Mozambique (1993) and Peru (1996). Her writing has since appeared in Granta, Utne, and The Atlantic, among others. (The piece she wrote for Granta about the death of her first husband was widely reprinted in magazines in the U.K., Latin America and Israel.) In 2004, her book A Burning Hunger: One Family’s Struggle Against Apartheid was published. It chronicled the story of the Mashininis, a black South African family of 13 children, all of whom were deeply involved in helping to bring down the apartheid government. She has a BA in Middle Eastern Studies and an MA in journalism from the University of Michigan.

Diane Seligsohn

Diane SeligsohnAmerican Journalist and University Lecturer

Diane Seligsohn is an American journalist and university lecturer who has lived in Paris for over 3 decades and now divides her time between France and St Petersburg, Florida. Diane received her BA from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and her MA from NYU. She began her career in journalism at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s New York office, where she worked for 5 years before moving to France.

As head of information for the international federation of newspaper publishers for two years, she gained knowledge of and insight into press freedom issues. She first visited Africa in 1997, when as Head of Media Relations for the French doctor’s group Médecins du Monde (Doctors of the World), she led a press trip to visit the organization’s AIDS prevention and care programs in Uganda and Tanzania. Her work as a reporter for Radio France International and freelance journalism trainer has since taken her to 17 countries across the African continent. She has taught Masters-level courses on the images of Africa in the Western media at the Sorbonne’s journalism School, CELSA and at Sciences-Po Paris.

The pilot episode of her educational documentary film series, The African Slave Trades: Across the Indian Ocean, featuring Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, was shown at the New York African Film Festival.

Thomas Smith

Thomas SmithUSF Professor of Political Science

Thomas W. Smith is professor of political science and director of the Honors Program at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. He co-founded the St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs with Ambassador Doug McElhaney. Smith holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the College of William & Mary and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia. He has published numerous journal articles in the fields of human rights, international humanitarian law, and Turkish politics and foreign policy. He also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Contemporary Korean Studies. From 1997-2000 he taught international relations at Koç University in Istanbul. His second book, Human Rights and War Through Civilian Eyes, was just published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Robin Truesdale

Robin TruesdaleDocumentary Filmmaker and Two Hands Films Founder

Robin Truesdale is a documentary filmmaker and the founder of Two Hands Films. She brings her storytelling abilities and craft to this project as the cinematographer, editor, and technical director. Robin began her career as a news editor for a Denver television station. After years of constructing news and educational stories through video, she was introduced to documentary film’s powerful potential to communicate deeper stories about people, cultures, and issues of the times. Her work deals primarily with social justice, cultural, and humanitarian issues. Robin received her BS and MS Degrees in Journalism from the University of Colorado.

Linda Whiteford

Linda WhitefordProfessor of Anthropology and Founding

Linda M. Whiteford holds a PhD and MA in Anthropology, and a Master’s degree in Public Health. She is a Professor of Anthropology and Founding Co-Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Social Marketing for Social Justice at USF. She helped establish the dual degree program between the USF department of anthropology and the College of Public Health; and graduate certificates in ‘Health, Water, and Culture’ with USF anthropology and the Colleges of Engineering and Public Health; a graduate certificate in Medical Anthropology; helped establish the USF Centers for Community and Public Scholarship, Sustainability, and USF World. In addition, she has represented USF internationally in Ghana, Cambodia, Thailand, China, Exeter, Dubrovnik, and London.

Dr. Whiteford has consulted for WHO, PAHO, USAID, the World Bank, and the Canadian Agency for International Development on projects in Bolivia, Ecuador, Antigua, Barbados and Mexico. She chaired the department of Anthropology, and was President of the Society for Applied Anthropology. She also served USF as Vice Provost for Program Development and Review, Associate Vice President for Global Strategies and International Affairs, and Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives. Most recently, Dr. Whiteford was awarded the prestigious Sol Tax Prize for Distinguished Service to the Profession by the Society for Applied Anthropology. The award will be presented in Philadelphia on April 6th, 2018. She was also selected to be ‘Scholar of the Year’ at Santa Clara University, and also at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She has received six Senior Researcher National Science Foundation research awards, and six School for Advanced Seminar awards, and as well as other research awards for investigations in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba and countries in Central and South America.

Her books include: Community Participatory Involvement: A Sustainable Model for Global Public Health (2015); Anthropology and the Engaged University: New Vision for the Discipline Within Higher Education (2013); Global Health in Times of Violence (2010), Primary Health Care in Cuba: The Other Revolution (2008); Anthropological Ethics for Research and Practice (2008); and Globalization, Water and Health: Resources in Times of Scarcity (2005); Global Health Policy, Local Realities: The Fallacy of the Level Playing Field (2000); and New Approached to Human Reproduction (1985).

John Zogby

John ZogbyZogby Poll Founder, Author

John Zogby, founder of the “Zogby Poll” and the Zogby companies, is an internationally respected pollster, opinion leader and best-selling author. He has joined with his sons Benjamin and Jeremy in a new company called John Zogby Strategies, a strategic visioning firm specializing in preparing companies and agencies for the coming wave of dynamic changes. A much sought-after speaker, he is represented by the American Program Bureau of Boston. Zogby is also the inaugural Director of the Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship at his alma mater, Le Moyne College.

“All hail Zogby, the maverick predictor,” decreed The Washington Post, when John Zogby called the 1996 presidential election with pinpoint accuracy. And he did it again in the following two elections. His presidential polling remains among the most accurate through five elections. He has served as an on-air election analyst for NBC News, BBC, CBC, ABC (Australia), and has been featured by the Foreign Press Center in Washington every election night since 1998.

The Zogby Poll, the “second best known polling brand in the US today” (Washington Post), John Zogby remains the hottest and most accurate pollster and analyst of America’s political and cultural landscape. In addition to the global reach of his brand, Zogby Polls have been cited frequently in popular culture, including NBC’s West Wing, CW’s Gossip Girls, Netflix movie House of Cards, and numerous novels, game shows, and the 25th Anniversary edition of Trivial Pursuit. Zogby Polls are regularly cited on The Tonight Show and spoofed on The Late Show and NPR’s All Things Considered. Fortune Magazine, The New Yorker and Investor’s Business Daily have all profiled John Zogby. He has appeared on every major U.S. television network, the BBC and scores of U.S. broadcasts. His two appearances on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart are among his favorites.

Called “The Prince of Polling” by political strategist Mary Matalin, John Zogby’s interactive methodology is a leader in the industry. He is the author of the best-selling The Way We’ll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream (Random House, 2008) and is co-author of the forthcoming First Globals: Understanding, Managing, and Unleashing Our Millennial Generation (with Joan Snyder Kuhl).

His newest book, published in 2016, is entitled We Are Many, We Are One: Neo-Tribes and Tribal Analytics in 21st Century America, is an exploration of the American people from the vantage point of their attributes and values, not demographics or geography.

Michele Kidwell Gilbert

Michele Kidwell GilbertNew York University — Professor, Author

Michele Kidwell Gilbert hails from New York where she taught Ancient and Renaissance art history at The New School for Social Research, New York University, and the College of New Rochelle. A published writer, her lectures have been offered in diverse venues including the United Nations and in association with missions, consulates, cultural centers, charities. She participated with the African Burial Ground National Monument in a Parks Department Long-Range Interpretive Plan and selected for The Congressional Arts Caucus paintings by high school student which temporarily adorned the walls of the United States House of Representatives.

As founder and chair of the Archaeology Committee at The National Arts Club, Michele presents numerous talks including those featuring Ambassadors and Consul Generals, who discuss their Nations’ heritages with members of the Diplomatic community in attendance. Michele also arranges programs with renowned visiting archaeologists, orchestrating dinners and receptions as well as providing liaison between international and cultural leaders. Furthering her passion for bringing diverse groups together, Michele created an Educational Initiative for young people to comprehend more fully their shared humanity through archaeology with an ambassador and international scholars serving on its advisory board.

Since arriving in St. Petersburg nearly four years ago, Michele has spoken at Eckerd College about Aphrodisias and on the Parthenon and analyzed the "Ten Plagues from the Egyptian Perspective" for Hadassah. A board member of the Museum of Fine Arts’ Collectors Circle, the St. Petersburg Chapter of Hadassah, and the St. Petersburg Opera, Michele and her husband Dr. Gordon J. Gilbert organized the St. Petersburg Celebration of the Arts.

Reid Lohr

Reid LohrEDI Advisory Group — Co-Founder and Partner

Mr. Lohr is the co-founder and partner of EDI Advisory Group, a development and decision support group specializing in global fluency and transnational engagements. The firm helps organizations navigate an increasingly interdependent, multicultural, and changing global marketplace and work environment.

After a rewarding career as a corporate executive with the Southland Corporation, Mr. Lohr transitioned his skills to the international development and foreign affairs arena where works directly with senior government, military, and business leaders. He has held key leadership roles in transitioning economies and post-conflict regions in Central & South Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. He has also served as Director of International Programs at Chemonics; Foreign Affairs Advisor at Deloitte Consulting; and as an Economic Development and Emerging Market Strategist focusing on institutional capacity building, Government relationships, and Interagency collaboration. He current holds an active Security Clearance.

In addition his work with the EDI Advisory Group, he serves as an Advisor/Trainer on Change Management and Socioeconomic transitions and guest lecturers on Leadership & Management at a variety of Institutions.


USA, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Georgia, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, Czech Republic, Turkey, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Colombia, Mexico, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Republic of Maldives, and Timor-Leste.


Business and Management, University of Maryland

Geographic Information Systems, University of South Florida

Dale Carnegie Management and Leadership Certification

National Defense University, Brookings, Harvard Kennedy School Alumni Assoc., and CSIS.


Committee on Foreign Relations; Society for Int’l Development; Business Council for Int’l Understanding; World Affairs Council of America; Society of International Business Fellows (SIBF); Executive Roundtables; Kennedy School Alumni Assoc.; American Corporate Partners (mentor); Guess Speaker/Lecture on Leadership & Organizational Development

Marie Roger Biloa

Marie Roger BiloaThe Africa International Media Group— Chief Executive Director

Chief Executive Director of The Africa International Media Group, Media Consultant and Adviser on African Affairs. She also heads the "Club Millenium" in Paris. Born in Cameroon, educated in Cote d'Ivoire, France and Austria, she graduated from the universities of Abidjan, La Sorbonne in Paris and Vienna (German Studies, Political Science and History). Ms. Biloa is also an alumni of the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna, where her name is on the Hall of Fame, and of the Harvard Kennedy School of Governance. Besides being a frequent TV guest ( TV5Monde, France24, Aljazeera, RFI, i-Télé, ARD, ZDF) to comment current news and African politics, she is involved in a hydro energy project in Africa and seeking partners. Ms Biloa is fluent in French, German and English, on top of several African languages

Felicien Kakure

Felicien KakureEx-Refugee, Lives the American Dream

Felicien is a refugee from Africa, where for years he and his family struggled to move freely throughout his country to find food and clean water. Felicien lived in a United Nations camp beginning in 1997 and recalls waking up each day feeling sad, as he faced poverty and sickness. In 2015 he and his family received the opportunity to resettle in the United States and his life changed. He was full of “excitement, living a dream come true.”

Through the support of the Gulf Coast JFCS Refugee Resettlement and Replacement Program, Felicien became self-sufficient and truly began to live the like that he had always dreamed of. “life today is much better…I feel that I am home,” Felicien share. He has worked for more than a year as an Uber driver, gives back to the community as an interpreter for Project Prosper, a non-profit working to empower immigrants with financial tools and he has assisted other refugees in obtaining houses with Habitat for Humanity.

James Truslow Adams coined the term American Dream in his 1931 book, The Epic of America. “The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.”

Felecien is a shining example of living the American Dream. When asked what he would like to say to others about America, he shares, “You have a great country, a great nation! Love your country, protect the peace of your neighbor, protect the peach of each other.”

Douglas Herbert

Douglas HerbertJournalist, Commentator

Douglas Herbert launched his journalism career from the bedroom of his childhood home on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, hand-writing the Sunday weekly, House News, for a readership of two: his mom and dad. A decade and a half later, in the early 1990s, Douglas landed his first “foreign assignment”, drinking his way through the vineyards of southwest France as a writer and researcher for Harvard University’s student-published Let’s Go travel guide. Douglas subsequently freelanced in the Moscow bureau of The New York Times, chronicling the chaotic reality of a New Russia in the wake of Soviet collapse. After reporting stints in Tallinn, Estonia and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Douglas joined CNN, initially at its financial desk in New York City and, later, at CNN International in London, covering the European Union and EU expansion. Today, Douglas is a Paris-based commentator on world affairs for France 24, an international news channel that he joined at its launch in 2006. Douglas has reported from nearly a dozen G7 and G20 summits, from Cannes to Québec to Northern Ireland; UN General Assemblies; the 2016 US presidential election campaign, from the national party conventions to Donald Trump’s inauguration; and on the Ukrainian conflict. Douglas’s guests on the France 24 Interview show have included Tony Blair, Samantha Power, Garry Kasparov and Stephen Breyer. For the past six years, Douglas has taught a graduate-level fact-checking course at Paris’s Sciences Po Journalism School. Last November, he spent a week in Tashkent, Uzbekistan training a new generation of TV journalists in live reporting and breaking news. An avid Russophile, Douglas received his Master’s Degree in Russian Studies from Harvard University. If Douglas could banish one term from the English lexicon, it would be: “Fake News”.

Ann Morrison

Ann MorrisonWriter, Editor

In the first 15 years of her career, Ann Morrison rose from fact-checker to executive editor of FORTUNE magazine, a Time Inc. magazine. In 1994, the company named her chief editorial executive of its Asiaweek magazine in Hong Kong, where she remained until 2000. That year Time Inc. transferred her to London, where she became co-editor (with her husband Donald Morrison) of the European edition of TIME. In 2008 and 2009, she was a lecturer in the Global Business Journalism Program at Tsinghua University in Beijing. In 2011 and 2012, she taught media management at Sciences-Po in Paris, in addition to freelancing for various publications. She now serves on the Advisory Committee of the American Library in Paris, and continues to freelance as a writer and an editor on subjects ranging from French beauty secrets to Chinese culture. A graduate of the College of New Rochelle, she holds graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the London School of Economics.

Diane Seligsohn

Diane Seligsohn

Thomas Smith

Thomas  Smith

Doug McElhaney

Doug McElhaney

Raymond Arsenault

Raymond Arsenault

Iqbal Paroo

Iqbal Paroo

Robert Sattin

Robert Sattin

Thomas Edmonds

Thomas  Edmonds

Reid Lohr

Reid Lohr

Bob Deutsch

Bob Deutsch

Kevin McGuire

Kevin  McGuire

John Maguire

John  Maguire

Wayne Griffith

Wayne GriffithForeign Service Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

Wayne Griffith was a career member of the Foreign Service from 1972 to 2002, serving in Mexico, Jerusalem, Nicaragua, Peru, Japan, Great Britain and Washington. He retired as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in September 2002. Wayne is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the National War College. A native of New Jersey, he now resides in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Linda Weil-Curiel

Linda Weil-CurielFrench Attorney and Human Rights Activist

Linda Weil-Curiel is a French attorney and human rights activist who campaigns against female genital mutilation (FGM) and plays a vital role in the prosecution of perpetrators throughout France. She has played a leading role in La Commission pour l'Abolition des Mutilations Sexuelles (CAMS).

Linda Weil-Curiel has since 1992 has been involved in campaigning for the greater representation of women from all countries within the Olympic sporting movement.

Iqbal Paroo

Iqbal ParooFormer University President, Foundation President; Domestic & International Health Care Executive

Michel Amblard

Michel AmblardTreasurer, Finance executive, retired CFO

Maurice Kurtz

Maurice KurtzBoard Member, PR Chair

Willi Rudowsky

Willi RudowskyProgram Manager (Ret), Retailer (Ret), Civic Activist

Carol Cason

Carol CasonIndep. Court Reporter (Ret), Franchise Regional Developer (Ret), Past Pres. nonprofit BOD

Don Chambers

Don ChambersProfessor of Physical Oceanography

Dr. Don P. Chambers is Professor of Physical Oceanography at the University of South Florida College of Marine Science, and is an internationally recognized expert in the field of sea level science. He specializes in using satellite observations to understand the mechanisms driving sea level change, both globally and regionally. He served as a Lead Author on the 5th Climate Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published in September 2013 and is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.

Matthew Brennan

Matthew BrennanExecutive Chef

Originally from Ohio, Matthew comes from a family of restaurateurs and chefs. His formal education was at the Culinary Institute of America

Matthew worked under Chef Jean Robert DeCavel at Le Maisonette. He then moved to Charlotte and run the kitchens of upscale restaurants such as Toscana, Luce and Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

Matthew joined the Four Seasons to oversee their Steakhouse “140” in Hawaii. He relocated to Denver to be the Executive Sous Chef of the Denver Marriott City Center, where he launched the Greatroom concept of “Prospect’s Urban Kitchen and Bar” to rave reviews.

Since joining The Vinoy team in May of 2017, Matthew has been instrumental in driving results in Culinary and played a critical role in the opening of Paul’s Landing.

When not in the kitchen, Matthew enjoys traveling with his wife Lena and exploring the outdoors.

Curtis Graham

Curtis GrahamAdvertising, Photographer

Raised in a Photographic family, Curtis started taking pictures at age 15. He attended Los Angeles Art Center College of Design, which started a career in Advertising Photography. Curtis has won many accolades for his work in advertising including: N.Y. Art Director Award, Norma Award, National Addys, and Clio Award. His work has appeared in many national publications such as: Town & Country, Esquire, W, Print, and Communication Arts.

His career in Advertising led to doing Commercials for his Clients as a Director/Cameraman. Curtis went on to Attend The American Film Institute. At AFI Curtis received the Mary Pickford Award Scholarship. His Master Thesis film, “The Blue Men,” starring Estelle Parsons went on to receive an Emmy , Academy Award and Focus Award. It is listed as one of the most award winning shorts of 1990. This started Curtis to pursue Narrative work as Director/Director of Photography.

Curtis Graham’s Feature Resume is as varied as his Commercial career. From films such as “ Oneiric”, “Father Eddy”, “ Misconceptions”, “Prime of your Life”, “The Glass Window”, “ The Investigator” to the PBS Documentaries “John & Mable Ringling”, “Silent Majority” and 100s of Commercials for advertising clients around the world. Curtis has created a diverse body of work as Director/Cinematographer. “OLIOBIRI” was filmed in Nigeria and won The African Oscar for Best Picture in 2016. His Documentary as DP “Erroll Barrow Freedom Fighter” filmed in Barbados, won this year's Pan African Film festival. His new film “The Favorite” opens in theaters Sept. 2018. Curtis has been an adjunct professor teaching Cinematography and Directing at University of Tampa, Southeastern University – Lakeland Fl.

Curtis continues to Direct and Shoot Narrative and Commercials projects under his Production Co. GreyHouse Films

Margaret Miller

Margaret MillerProfessor of Art and Art History

Margaret Miller is a Professor in the School of Art and Art History and Director of the Institute for Research in Art at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. The Institute for Research in Art is dedicated to organizing and presenting exhibitions and commissioning works by internationally significant emerging and acclaimed artists. Miller holds an MA degree from the University of Hawaii in Asian Art History. Since 1978 she has served as Director of the USF Contemporary Art Museum, and in 2001 was appointed to also serve as Director of Graphicstudio, USF’s renowned art production atelier. The Contemporary Art Museum, Graphicstudio and USF’s Public Art Program form the Institute for Research in Art in the College of The Arts. During her tenure at USF she has taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and curated numerous exhibitions with accompanying catalogues.

Gary Mormino

Gary MorminoProfessor Emeritus of Social History

Gary Mormino, is prolific writer, author of a wide range of academic and popular books. Immigrants on the Hill (University of Illinois press, 1986) won the Howard Marraro Prize as the outstanding book in Italian history. The Immigrant World of Ybor City (University of Illinois Press, 1987) received the Theodore Saloutos Prize for the outstanding book in ethnic-immigration history. In addition, two of his articles have received prizes for the best writing in Florida history. He has written for the St. Petersburg Times, Orlando Sentinel, and Miami Herald. He currently writes a bi-weekly column on state and local history for the Tampa Tribune.

Almost two decades ago, Mormino began to research a social history of modern Florida. Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams: A Social History of Modern Florida was published in the spring of 2005 by the University Press of Florida. Readers have called it a seminal study in state history. Michael Gannon, Distinguished History Professor at the University of Florida, writes that Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams “will be the book by which all future studies of modern Florida will be measured.” In 2006, the Florida Historical Society awarded the book the Charlton Tebeau Prize.

Dr. Mormino received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina and has taught at USF since 1977.In 2003 the Florida Humanities Council named him its first Humanist of the Year.

Robert Whitehead

Robert WhiteheadFormer Ambassador

"Ambassador Robert E. Whitehead retired in December, 2016 after a 33-year career in the United States Department of State. His final posting was U.S. Ambassador to the Togolese Republic. Prior to that he served as Chief of Mission/Charge d’affaires in Khartoum, Republic of Sudan from 2009-2012 and as the first U.S. Consul General in Juba, South Sudan in 2006. During his career. Whitehead served in an array of positions in mostly African countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo (then called Zaire), Zambia and Zimbabwe. He undertook assignments of varying length in four other Central Africa countries, including a period as Charge in Kigali, Rwanda in 1994 after the civil war.

Whitehead also served in Romania, Guyana and Belize and was twice the Director of the African Office of Intelligence and Research and was once as Senior Inspector in the Office of the Inspector General. Ambassador Whitehead received a B.A. at Taylor University and an M.A. as a university fellow at Southern Illinois University. He also attended the IFCADD language school in Brussels, Belgium. In the late 1970s he was a volunteer professor and subsequently a Fulbright Lecturer at the (then) National University of Zaire campus in Bukavu, Kivu Province. He is fluent in French and Romanian.

Over the span of his career, he received the Department’s Meritorious and Superior Honor wards. In retirement, he has remained on the active rolls of the Department of State and has served stints as Charge d’affaries in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. When not working, he resides in Ft. Pierce, FL with his wife Agathe and enjoys sports, reading, writing and volunteer work in continuing adult education. The Whiteheads have a son, Wesley, who is employed by the Department of State."

Noel Cruz

Noel CruzChef

73,Matthew,Brennan,Panelist,,brennan-matthew.jpg,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,,Executive Chef,"Originally from Ohio, Matthew comes from a family of restaurateurs and chefs. His formal education was at the Culinary Institute of America

Lariana Forsythe

Lariana ForsytheInterim CEO

Lariana Forsythe joined CASA as its Interim CEO on June 5, 2017. (Interim status is a temporary designation being used while Florida Administrative Rule requirements are completed.) She has more than 20 years of nonprofit experience with the Boys & Girls Clubs, National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Special Olympics. Ms. Forsythe has held a variety of roles within these organizations, most recently serving as the VP/CDO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix.

Ms. Forsythe earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, a Bachelor of Science from Arizona State University, and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive.

Ms. Forsythe was named the 2018 Business Woman of the Year through the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

Al Hine

Al Hine

Allan Jury

Allan JuryU.S. Foreign Service Officer

Allan Jury is a retired U.S. Foreign Service Officer, with a long career in the U.S. State Department and United Nations focused on international humanitarian affairs and East Asian regional issues.

His most recent positons have been with the non-governmental organization World Food Program USA. He was Vice President of Public Policy and, since May 2016, has been a consulting Senior Advisor at WFP USA. Mr. Jury previously served twelve years (2001-2013) with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). He was the Director of WFP’s Washington DC Office from September 2008 to March 2013, where he managed the organization’s relations with its major partners in the US government and the World Bank headquarters. He also held senior positions at World Food Program headquarters in Rome, Italy as Director of External Relations (2004-2008) and Chief of the Policy Service (2001-2004).

Mr. Jury came to WFP following a twenty-five year career with the U.S. Department of State. He has worked on international humanitarian and refugee affairs since 1987, with leadership positions in Washington, Geneva, and Bangkok. Earlier diplomatic assignments included postings at US Embassies in the Philippines, the Netherlands, and the Indonesia desk in the State Department.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Mr. Jury is a 1975 graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota with a B.A. in political science and Asian studies. He is married and currently living in West Bradenton, Florida.

Michael Ranneberger

Michael RannebergerFormer Ambassador

Ambassador Michael Ranneberger is the President of World Insight Consulting, the firm he established following his retirement in 2016 from the Department of State. He is chairman of the board of Afridokta, Florida-based company, which is working to expand access to health care in Africa through its telemedicine platform. During his distinguished diplomatic career, he represented the United States in Latin America, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.

Following his graduation from Towson University with a double major in history and social science, he obtained a Masters Degree in history at the University of Virginia, and then entered the Foreign Service. He served as Ambassador to Mali, Kenya, and Somalia. He was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, in which capacity he led policy development and implementation for the African region. Other postings included serving as Deputy Chief of Mission in Paraguay, Mozambique, and Somalia. During the 1980s he was part of the team which negotiated the independence of Namibia and the withdrawal of Cuban forces from Angola.

As the Special Representative of the Secretary of State, he helped lead negotiations which resulted in the Sudan Peace Agreement of 2005. When crisis erupted in Kenya following the disputed presidential election at the end of 2007, Ambassador Ranneberger, working closely with African Union mediator Kofi Annan, was instrumental in ending the bloodshed and bringing about fundamental reforms through adoption of a new constitution in 2010. For those efforts, he was dubbed “Ambassador of Peace” by the Kenyan people. During 2011-16, he served as the State Department’s senior foreign policy adviser to three commanders of the U.S. Central Command, including James Mattis.

He is the recipient of the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award, its highest, Presidential Meritorious Service Awards, the Department’s Anti-Slavery Award for his efforts to combat human trafficking, and numerous other recognitions. He is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Africa Nazarene University. As a Career Minister at the time of his retirement, he was one of the 35 highest ranked officers in the State Department.

Jill Roberts

Jill RobertsAssistant Professor

Dr. Robert's research interests are in the use of molecular techniques such as pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, sequencing, and other DNA-based methods to characterize microorganisms from sources such as foods, clinicial samples, environmental samples and others. The goal of these projects is to corrrelate the molecular data with epidemiological information about the bacteria tested including likely source of contamination, associated disease, antibiotic resistance, etc.

Emmanuel Roux

Emmanuel RouxRestaurateur

Emmanuel Roux was born in Tunisia where his parents had a farm. He grew up between Tunisia, France and the UK. Roux studied hotel management in Switzerland before serving the French Navy and traveling the world.

After moving to the US in 1975, Roux was general manager of the Lotos Club Manhattan's third oldest private club. He later founded a specialty pasta restaurant in Savannah, GA before moving to Tampa and later St. Petersburg, where he has since owned several restaurants at the rebirth of downtown.

Roux now owns Gateau O Chocolat, a well-known flourless chocolate cake bakery. For the last 10 years, he has developed an interest in Urban agriculture and is running 15th St Agrihood, an intensive organic educational farm in downtown St. Petersburg which features an event space and commercial kitchen.

Scott Brown

Scott BrownChief Economist

Most recently, from 2013-2016, he was the US Ambassador to Indonesia, where he focused on building stronger business and educational ties between the US and Indonesia, while also developing cooperation to help Indonesia reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Joannie Bewa

Joannie BewaPhysician, Fulbright Scholar at USF College of Public Health

Joannie Marlene BEWA is a physician, and an international expert in public health from Benin Republic. She is currently enrolled as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of South Florida College of Public Health, specializing in public maternal and child health.

Kavita May

Kavita MaySenior Vice President, Global Technology Distribution Council 

In her role at the Global Technology Distribution Council, Kavita is instrumental in the leadership, strategic direction and operations of this worldwide industry association dedicated to defining and promoting the role of wholesale distribution in a successful and healthy information technology “channel.” The Council is comprised of the industry’s top distributors serving this community of skilled solution providers, Internet resellers and retailers focused on providing hardware, software and services to businesses and consumers around the globe.

GTDC members drive $150 billion in annual worldwide sales of products, services and solutions. Kavita’s 20+ years of industry experience helped the organization grow on an international scale -- more than doubling in size during her tenure – while cultivating close relationships with research analysts, training partners and channel executives across the globe. Prior to joining the GTDC in 2002 as Manager of Operations, she was with Tech Data Corporation, specializing in business analytics relative to core sales and services. Kavita earned a master’s in government and international affairs at the University of South Florida and bachelor’s in international relations at the University of Florida.

Janel Brown

Janel Brown

Angie McCourt

Angie McCourtvice president, transformation management office

Angie McCourt is vice president, transformation management office, Americas. In this role she is responsible for leading the organization through a transformation initiative. She previously served as vice president, Cisco Solutions Group, at Tech Data since September 2010. In that role, she led the company’s dedicated team of sales, marketing and technical professionals in support of all Cisco solutions available through Tech Data. Under her leadership, Tech Data was recognized and awarded by Cisco for best-in-class partner enablement, innovation, technology enablement and execution.

McCourt joined Tech Data in January 2000 as a purchasing manager and progressed through various leadership roles in purchasing, sales and marketing. McCourt was named to CRN’s Power 100 Women of the Channel list in 2011, named the 2014 Business Woman of the Year by the Tampa Bay Business Journal, Tampa Bay Tech’s 2014 Technology Leader of the Year, CRN’s 2017 and 2015 Channel Chief and Industry Week’s 2016 25 Most Influential Women in IoT, 2017 StemConnector 100 Corporate Women in STEM, 2017 Girls Inc. of Pinellas Girls Champion and Tampa Bay Business Journal 2018 25 People to Watch. McCourt was named to CRN’s Power 100 Women of the Channel list in 2018 and named Vice President of the Year, Americas by Tech Data Sr. executives 2017.

McCourt serves on the Board of the St. Petersburg College (SPC) Foundation, works with Junior Achievement and STEM Woman of the Year Luncheon and volunteers for Girls Inc. of Pinellas. She holds a B.S. in Human Sciences from Florida State University.

She lives in Lutz, Fla. with her husband John and five children (Brandon 22, Hunter 19, Blake 16, Michael 17 and Sarah 14).

Karen Dee

Karen Dee

Matthew worked under Chef Jean Robert DeCavel at Le Maisonette. He then moved to Charlotte and run the kitchens of upscale restaurants such as Toscana, Luce and Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

Louise Buhrmann

Louise Buhrmann

Ronice Barlow

Ronice BarlowHead of Strategic Planning & Business Development and Co-Head of Internal Sales for US Advisory Services at Franklin Templeton Investments.

Ronice Barlow is a Senior Vice President, Head of Strategic Planning & Business Development and Co-Head of Internal Sales for US Advisory Services at Franklin Templeton Investments. Before this role, Ronice was Chief Operating Officer for US Advisory Services. She is responsible for multiple functions that support the US retail and institutional divisions including strategic planning, financial strategies, technology infrastructure, globalsourcing, and sales management.

Ms. Barlow previously served as Head of Retail Sales for Franklin Templeton, Ltd. in Canada where she resided in Toronto, Ontario and was responsible for strategic accounts and national sales.

Having joined Franklin Templeton in 1993, Ms. Barlow has developed a broad experience in field sales and global sales management, along with having been responsible for introducing and leading innovative distribution strategies throughout Franklin Templeton Investments.

Ms. Barlow earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Business from Eckerd College where she currently serves on the Board of Trustees; and her Masters of Business Administration from the University of Tampa. Other community boards include Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County and Copperhead Charities. Ms. Barlow, her husband, Steve, and daughters Sara and Georgia reside in St. Petersburg, Florida.